Toyota Supports Detroit Students With “InsideOut Literary Arts” Oral Creation


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Detroit, MI – InsideOut Literary Arts, an award-winning organization headquartered in Detroit, has announced the winners of its 2021 performance troupe supported by Toyota Motor North America. The performance troupe is part of the organization’s Citywide Poets after-school program, which provides teens with weekly creative writing workshops, publications, and performance opportunities. For more than two decades, InsideOut Literary Arts has reached over 65,000 students in metro-Detroit schools and published nearly 500 school literary journals.

Students Algeonay Angelica, Fiona Colson, Alayae Hicks, Cassidy Howard and Ife Martin rose to the top as winners of the 2021 Youth Performance Troupe competition. The performance troupe will be led by trainer LaShaun Phoenix Moore, a Detroit-based singer, spoken word artist and culture maker who will help them hone their skills.

InsideOut’s performance troupe is made up of students from the Citywide Poets program who strive to further develop their self-expression and performance skills, under the direct guidance and support of the coaches. Through a competitive submission process, four to five students are selected each year. These talented teens have the opportunity to develop their craft, work with professional writers as mentors, perform in front of large audiences, and become spokespersons for the power of the youth voice.

“Through the transformative power of the written and spoken word, coupled with performance opportunities unique to a wide range of audiences, students learn that creativity, voice and expression are essential tools that can change paradigms and change the circumstances that affect their lives, ”said Suma Karaman Rosen, Executive Director, InsideOut Literary Arts. “Poetry takes students to college, the White House and famous stages in life. Our mission is to inspire students to think broadly, to create courageously, and to share their voices with the world. We are truly grateful to Toyota for supporting our one-year Performance Troupe program.

Thanks to InsideOut’s programming, 94% of teachers surveyed said it improved students’ writing and critical thinking skills; 80% of InsideOut students demonstrated improved reading comprehension after participating in the program; and 83% of InsideOut students said they applied what they learned about writing in other classes. Students have gone on to become Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs and playwrights.

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